Abstract The aim of this work was to investigate the possibility to apply high-speed rotation-induced wood-dowel welding technique to two Canadian hardwood species commonly used for furniture and structural applications, sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). Different factors have been evaluated such as the wood species, the grain orientation, the rotation rate, as well as the receiver hole diameter. The results indicate that high-speed rotation-induced wood-dowel welding can be suitable for these two wood species with average tensile strength values comparable to their respective PVAc-glued joints. Additionally, wood-welded joints presented higher water resistance than their glued-joint counterparts. The results of the temperature measurements confirm that the softening and degradation temperatures of wood components have been reached during the welding process. The X-ray microdensitometry analyses show an increase of density for the interfacial material between the wood substrate and the dowel, the profile of which is more uniform for sugar maple than for birch. The scanning electron micrographs of the interfacial contact zone confirm the different extents of wood-to-wood welding.